The Benefits of Buying Your Insurance Policy Through a Local Agent Vs. Online Yourself

There are many ways these days to buying an insurance policy. Some people may feel the easiest way is to simply go online and purchase it yourself. You could even shop many carriers yourself to find the best rate for the coverage you need. However, there are many more additional benefits you could gain by going through a local insurance agency.

Save Yourself Time

As we mentioned above, yes you could shop for insurance yourself through several of the top insurance carriers. But, what is your time worth? By shopping with a local insurance agent, we can do the shopping for you. Get 10 quotes or more at once! We’ll provide you many choices by shopping our top insurance carriers to find you the best coverage at an affordable price. In fact, many of our companies are likely the big ones you’ve heard of. If for any reason you want to change insurance carriers down the road, we can do that for you – you don’t need to change agents.

Get Professional Advice

Instead of guessing what coverage you might need, you can get professional advice by working with a local insurance agency. Since we specialize in this field, we can listen to your needs and find the right coverage that matches. We can also ensure you don’t have any gaps in coverage in the event you have an insurance claim.

Truly Understand The Coverage You Are Buying & Additional Coverage Options Available

Insurance can be complicated. We try to simplify the process. Not only do we want to help you understand your current insurance policy, but help if you are interested in different coverage options. Feel confident knowing you’re informed about exactly the coverages you have and what you might want to consider.

Score a Discount

Our licensed agents are discount detectives. Let them search for all the hidden discounts so you get the best rates and coverage for your money. We understand it is important you have affordable insurance coverage. That’s why we are constantly looking for ways to get you to qualify for a discount. If you are unhappy with your insurance plan at renewal, we can look at coverage options through other carriers to find the best fit for you.

Have a Relationship With Your Agent Vs. Calling an 800 number

We are a phone call or email away. By working with the same agency time and time again, we can help you with anything. From claims, to policy updates or questions, we strive to be a partner you trust and can rely on.

If you are in need of an insurance policy, call Heuer Insurance Agency. We can help you find affordable coverage for your auto, home or business. Get a free insurance quote today.

What Holiday Gifts Should I Insure?

The season of giving (and receiving!) is such a joyous time. Not only do families typically make the most effort to get together, but it is a time to enjoy some holiday cheer with some gift exchanges and great food and drinks.

If you’re lucky enough to be the recipient of an expensive gift this holiday season, you may wonder if you need to insure that product. While your existing home or renters insurance policy already includes a certain amount of coverage for personal property, some items like jewelry and collectibles should have their own line of coverage called an endorsement or floater. Home insurance isn’t designed to cover special items, but is instead designed to provide coverage for day to day items that are easily replaced like clothes, appliances and furniture. If you have special jewelry or collectibles, consider a special policy or endorsement for these items.

Jewelry that you may want to have a floater or endorsement for can include:

  • Expensive watches, rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings
  • Rare or vintage pieces

Collectibles that you should consider insuring can include:

  • Comic books
  • Rare toys
  • Furs
  • Stamp collections
  • Firearms
  • Sports cards

Other things to consider when insuring your jewelry or collectibles:

Keep an up-to-date appraisal.

Collectibles and fine jewelry can increase or decrease in value dramatically. The last time the economy turned down, collectibles took a big hit because people didn’t have the money to buy them and the market was flushed with people trying to sell them to make some extra money. Like the collectible market, fine metals like Gold, Silver and Platinum fluctuate daily so if you’ve gone years without getting a jewelry appraisal, you may want to revisit that.

What does insurance pay on the items you have when it comes to a claim settlement?

If you purchase a collectibles or jewelry endorsement it would be good to understand the differences in policy coverages. For instance, by selecting something called agreed value, you can ensure you get that amount of coverage. If you insure your rare Spider Man comic book for $4,500, if something happens to it and it is stolen or destroyed, you’ll get that $4,500 not the current value should it depreciate.

Most of the companies we represent allow these items to be scheduled right on your home or renters insurance policy. Call an agent today to see if you should add an endorsement for your special item. Enjoy the holidays and if we can answer anything for you about your home or auto insurance during this holiday season, please give us a call.

Benefits of Bundling Your Insurance Policies

Insurance Agent Sparks, NV

Insurance Agent Sparks, NV“Bundle your home and auto & save!” “Save by bundling your insurance policies together!”

We seem to be inundated with commercials and advertisements telling us to bundle our insurance policies together. What is the reason behind this and is really a better option for your insurance?

Benefits of Bundling

Discounts

Some of the benefits associated with bundling your insurance policies together are discounts. The more you bundle, typically, the more you save. While the most common bundled policy is the home and auto policy, some insurance companies discount other product bundles such as auto and motorcycle. It depends on each carrier.

Consolidated Billings

Bundling your policies together can help eliminate confusion over your billing. While home insurance may go to your escrow company, it is easier to understand when your bill comes from a single source.

Access to more products

Many companies will require the auto policy to write an umbrella policy. While typically the umbrella policy is written under the property portion of your insurance. Do note, there are some companies who will just write an umbrella policy.

Why would you not bundle?

Sometimes bundling your insurance policies just doesn’t make sense. Some circumstances in which you may not be able to bundle your insurance can be:

  • Young drivers
  • SR22 Insurance
  • High Risk Drivers
  • Dangerous dog in household
  • Earthquake or Flood Insurance

Every once in a while auto insurance may seem too high, but you’re happy with your home insurance carrier. In this instance, you can use the full benefit of an independent insurance agent by writing the home with one carrier and the auto insurance with another carrier. Just because you’re splitting the policies doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay more. An agent in our office can show you all the prices between several carriers and help guide you as to what makes the most sense for your specific situation.

If you’re in the market for a new or replacement insurance policy, you’ve come to the right place. Independent insurance agents are the only agents who have access to multiple top-rated insurance companies. By shopping with an independent agent, you can compare coverage, pricing, payment plans and look at bundling your insurance policies all with one phone call. The benefits of having an independent insurance agent don’t stop there. As your life changes, your agent can adapt to your needs finding you’re the right new company for your new situation such as getting married, having a teen driver and more. Thank you for the opportunity to help you with your insurance.

What is Sr22 Insurance and Who Needs It?

At some point, it is possible that you may need to have SR22 Insurance. SR22 Insurance is actually not insurance at all, but a certificate that proves you carry insurance and meet your states liability requirements. The reasons why you may have to carry a SR22 vary and can include:

  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
  • Too Many Tickets
  • Too Many At-Fault Accidents
  • Reckless Driving
  • Driving Without Insurance
  • Driving While Suspended

Who writes SR22 Insurance?

There are several top-rated insurance companies that will write SR22 Insurance. Because we’re an independent agent, we can compare rates between them to find you the best price and coverage for your situation.

Is SR22 Insurance expensive?

Generally speaking, yes you will pay quite a bit more for SR22 Insurance. Because you’re higher risk and insurance companies base their premiums on risk, your insurance coverage will likely be higher than before you needed the SR22.

What do I do with my SR22 certificate?

You actually don’t have to do anything. Your insurance company will notify the correct departments on your behalf. As long as you pay your premiums. If your coverage lapses, they will notify the state that your coverage has lapsed and you will then no longer be able to drive until you get it reinstated.

How long do I need to have an SR22?

It depends, but often times you will be required to carry SR22 Insurance for a three year period. Check with your local agencies for your specific situation.

Can I add an SR22 to my existing policy or do I need new insurance?

Some insurance companies will not accept a driver who needs SR22 Insurance, so check with your agent. We will be able to tell you whether or not you need a new policy or can simply add one to your existing insurance policy.

We can help you identify a company who can write your SR22 insurance. While many dread having to carry one, we can make it quick and easy and even issue the policy over the phone for you so you can get back on the road. Call our office or request a quote online.

I don’t even own a car! Why do I need SR22 insurance?

This is referred to as non-owners SR22 insurance. The coverage covers the individual with a driver’s license, not a vehicle. Each state varies with different laws so be sure to talk to one of our agents to see exactly what you need.

If you need a SR22 Insurance policy, contact our office and ask to speak with a licensed auto insurance agent. We will make the process quick and easy for you, offering you many choices between companies as well as payment options to help you along the way. Contact us today.

If I Damage My Car From Hitting Wildlife, Am I Covered?

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture cites as many as 2 million collisions with animals occur each year.

It can be a scary moment when you are driving 70 mph on the freeway and a deer or other wildlife comes out of nowhere and runs right in front of your vehicle. Your first reaction may be to slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid the collision and hurting or even killing the animal. But, what happens if you do make contact with the animal and your car is damaged from it?

Are you covered?

It depends on what auto insurance coverage you have purchased. Comprehensive and collision insurance can provide you with coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle when you make contact with an animal while driving.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that if you decided to swerve, missed the deer or animal and strike a tree then you could be covered by collision insurance on your auto policy. Because every insurance carrier is different, their claims department will handle it with the coverage they feel is most fitting to the situation.

Safe Driving Tips To Always Remember

Driving hazards present themselves daily and can occur year-round in every state. Here are three things to always remember when it comes to driving your vehicle and wildlife.

Always stay alert

If you are driving in rural areas, be aware that wildlife is always nearby and keep a lookout towards the sides of the road.

Don’t swerve your vehicle

Swerving cannot only results in a worse injury and more severe accident, but your insurance company might find you at fault if you swerve to miss a deer and end up hitting a tree, another vehicle or guard rail. Regardless, remember to avoid swerving in general. Tightly hold the steering wheel, apply the brakes and stay in your lane.

Be more aware at night

Animals can become more active in the evenings and some travel in groups. If you see one, chances are there are more nearby. If there are two lanes, drive in the lane farthest away from the side of the road.

Tips If You Happen To Hit The Animal

Like any accident, there are a few things to always do immediately.

  • Safely pull to the side of the road. Give yourself as much space as possible then turn on your emergency lights.
  • Check to see if everyone in your vehicle is okay. Hitting an animal is startling so take a moment to take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves.
  • Call the police to report the accident and arrange a tow if necessary.
  • For claims purposes, always take photos of the damage to your vehicle and make notes.

If you have questions about your auto or vehicle insurance, contact our agency! We can provide you with an insurance quote and answer your questions.

Do I need special insurance to drive for Uber or Lyft?

Whether you are thinking of starting a new career or simply want to make some extra income during your down time, working for companies like Uber or Lyft can be a good move. However, you will need specific insurance to be fully covered as your personal auto insurance policy and the insurance provided by Rideshare companies provides gaps in coverage or potential excess liability.

Ridesharing is defined as: individuals who use their own vehicle to transport people from point A to point B in exchange for money.

If you are considering working for other companies such as DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats, Instacart or other delivery type companies, you would want a rideshare insurance policy as well.

A rideshare insurance policy provides coverage during:

  • Waiting for a ride request.
  • When you accept a ride request and are on the way to pick up the rider.
  • When you pick up the rider & drive to the destination.

In what situations does my personal auto insurance cover me?

  • When you are offline or not using the Uber/Lyft app.
  • The period after you’ve dropped off a passenger but are still logged in and are waiting to match with another passenger (for instance, you roll forward and hit another vehicle with no rider in your car).

Does Uber or Lyft or any other rideshare company provide insurance for you?

Uber maintains insurance on your behalf such as third party liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.

However, your current auto insurance policy may offer a rideshare endorsement that can be added to your policy. You may receive additional coverage too that goes above and beyond the limits provided by the Rideshare company. Talk to one of our agents first. We’ll explain the difference in coverage options.

What if I don’t have rideshare insurance & I’m involved in an accident?

The consequences of not having a rideshare insurance endorsement could result in a denial of coverage by your main auto insurance company. Whether you fail to tell them you are using your car for rideshare services or simply didn’t know you needed the insurance endorsement on your main auto policy, could leave you liable for the entire loss. This leaves you with paying for injuries, medical bills, car repairs, property damage etc. if you get into an accident.

If you are considering a career or part time job for any rideshare company, reach out to our agency! Rules and regulations change regularly, so be sure to research yourself what changes may have occurred since this article was written. We can go over many coverage options with you to ensure you have the right insurance protection. Getting the right policy is easy, we just need to know that you’re driving for a Rideshare company and we can get you the right policy.

Heuer Team Park Clean Up

The Heuer team participated in another park clean up this past weekend! Back in July, we announced we adopted the Vista View Park located at D’Andrea Pkwy through the City of Sparks. Check out some photos below!

Everything You Should Know About Insurance For First Time Home Buyers

Owning your first home is one of the most exciting and biggest accomplishments in life. It is a memorable time and something to be proud of. With this excitement comes the responsibilities of maintaining and insuring the home. While we can’t help with the maintenance, we can help you understand and properly insure your new home.

What Does Home Insurance Cover? Homeowners insurance is a broad policy that covers the structure of your home against losses like fire, theft, vandalism and other weather related losses. You also have coverage for liability for injuries to others while visiting your property such as slip and fall claims or even dog bites. It is important to understand that losses from floods and earthquakes are typically excluded from the standard homeowner’s insurance policy. You can get a separate policy for these types of losses.

What Does Home Insurance Cost? The cost of a homeowner’s insurance policy varies on several factors including your credit history, your previous loss history (dog bites or liability, or property loss claims), the value of your home and any scheduled property like jewelry and art. Our agency can give you exact numbers and because we’re an independent insurance agency, we can compare several home insurance companies at once for you to find the right coverage at the right price.

Does Home Insurance Cover Detached Structures? If your home has a detached garage or other detached structure like a home office or art studio, your policy can include things like “Other Structures Coverage.” Talk to an agent to learn more about insuring your detached structures.

Are My Personal Items Covered? Homeowners policies come with personal property coverage. This amount varies by company and can be increased with most companies. Be sure that the amount of coverage you select for personal property is sufficient for the items you own.

Are Dogs okay? Most dog breeds are okay to be covered under the liability portion of your home insurance policy. Some dog breeds such as Pit Bulls, Akitas and other dogs are classified as dangerous and may be excluded from coverage. Check with your insurance carrier for a list of breeds they will not insure.

Many options and additional coverages are available for home insurance that are not included in a standard home insurance policy. Check with a licensed agent in our office for additional coverages you may want to include with your new home. Again, congratulations on your new home purchase and if we can help you in anyway, please let us know. We appreciate the opportunity to be your homeowners insurance agent.

Heuer Insurance Agency’s October Newsletter

Industry 101

As years go by, most of us replace or add valuables to our belongings. Many times, this should prompt an insurance review.  It’s easy to forget to update your insurance policy in the process, so there is no better time than now to make sure both your new, as well as old belongings, are insured properly on your Homeowners policy.  Every policy has limitations within that policy and coverage for items like firearms, arts, coins, collectables and stamps can be extremely limited, no matter what the cause of loss was.

Jewelry coverage also has limitations; usually less than a couple of thousands of dollars, plus your deductible. If you are fortunate enough to have precious stones or jewelry, it is very important to talk to your insurance agent at Heuer Insurance to ensure you are covered.  You can fix this oversight fairly easy, but do it before you have a loss.

Three easy steps to remember:

  1. Take inventory of your belongings. Make a list or a video of your belongings and store off site.
  2. Discuss with your agent what types of additional coverage may be right for you.
  3. Consider coverage for items such as, but not limited, to electronics and musical instruments. Many of these types of items go off premises and you need to understand the coverage afforded.

The more accurate and updated your policy and coverages are, the easier it is for your claims to be handled quickly and efficiently, should a loss occur.

Agency News

We are extremely honored to have been named Rotary Business of the Month by Sparks Centennial Sunrise Rotary Club in the month of September. We are proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization and to be recognized alongside many outstanding local businesses!

Thanks for reading, see you next month. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and refer your friends. We very much appreciate you!

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home

We all know the importance of having a smoke detector in our home, but what about a carbon monoxide detector?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal. Carbon monoxide can build up in your home whenever you burn fuel from a stove, grill, furnace, fire place or from your vehicles in the garage. Obviously, we need to use these appliances every day, as well as drive a vehicle, so how can we keep safe?

Simple tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. Check the batteries every 6 months, however, it should alert you with a beep with batteries are low.
  • Ensure you get your fuel burning appliances checked every year by a qualified technician. You should get in the habit of looking for rust on vents or loose/disconnected pipes on appliances like your water heater, heating system or any other gas, oil or wood/coal burning appliance.
  • Use portable gas stoves or burn charcoal outside only.
  • Keep generators outside and away from open windows only. Using them in a garage or carport can be dangerous.
  • Don’t attempt to heat your house temporarily by turning on your oven or gas stove.
  • Get your chimney checked every year. Debris can block your chimney and cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home. You can check your chimney yourself for any cracks.
  • Never leave your car running while it sits in the garage.

Did you know they make a battery operated combination detector for both a smoke and carbon monoxide? Combination detectors can save space and batteries in addition to lives.

Even a single carbon monoxide detector in your home could save lives. If you rent a home or apartment that does not currently have a carbon monoxide detector, ask your landlord to provide one. Many states require that homes have them installed. Review your state laws here.

If you have questions about your home or renters insurance, contact our agency. We can go over your current coverage or provide you with an insurance quote.